The Hometown Tourist Challenge is a series helping you to explore the place you call home.
The challenge is designed to get you engaging and learning about your little slice of the world.
You don’t have to get on a plane, pack up the car, or spend a ton of money to have an adventure.
Fall in love with the place you live.
Every day can be a travel day when you choose to see the opportunities around you.
Travel can take place between your front door and the office between the coffee shop and your next appointment.
Or in my case this morning, on a walk to see the sunrise.
Jordan and I got up and headed to a coffee shop in the wee hours of the morning. We picked up our mocha and chai and walked to the halfway point of a bridge crossing the Columbia River (between Washington and Oregon).
Our goal? To watch the sunrise.
We spent a special half-hour watching the sky light up and the colors of morning brush across the sky. We were looking straight up the river toward Mt. Hood. When the sun finally peaked over the edge of the mountain, we were amazed to discover how fast it moves in relation to a stationary object.
We enjoyed every moment.
On the way home, Jordan said something that struck me as profound:
That sunrise was incredible, and it happens every single morning!Jordan Stanton
How often do we go through our day without realizing that there are beautiful, glorious things happening right under our noses?
Every day is a chance to bust out of routine, to take advantage of special moments, and to live with a travelers zest for life.
Let’s be people who are travelers at heart. Not just on vacation. Not only when we are in a different country. Let’s be explorers of the world we live in every single day.
The ultimate destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.Henry Miller
Travel well…and travel often
For many people traveling is a hobby. It’s something we love to do and wish we could do more.
We spend our vacation days and our travel budgets on fun trips to cool places.
That’s traveling often – at least as often as our annual leave and bank accounts allow.
But what about traveling well?
A bit more nuanced.
If only we could apply a traveling mindset to our own locales, we might find these places becoming no less interesting.Alain de Botton
For one thing, everyone has a different opinon of what “well” looks like.
For one person, “well” might be multiple nights in the back-country. For another person, it means bed and breakfast. Some prefer third-world adventures, while others might prefer less edge to their travel.
Whatever your favorite flavor of travel, we propose ten traits of a great traveler.
Just as a musician wouldn’t show up to perform without practicing, we as travelers can hone a set of characteristics and skills right in our town, state, and region.
These traits (habits, skills) will serve us well when we take the “big trips”.
The 10 traits of a hometown tourist
See the world.
Take in sights, smells, sounds, and atmosphere.
Notice the people, architecture, nature, and weather.
Do something new to you.
Take the scenic route.
Go out of your way to check out hidden gems.
Do things that make you slightly uncomfortable.
Push past your preconceived limits.
Get out of your comfort zone.
Get out and do stuff!
Move your body.
Walk around the neighborhoods in your city.
Have conversations about your hometown with friends and strangers.
Pursue unusual activities.
Dig for information.
Keep an open mind.
Be thankful for the effort others make to create a thriving community.
Take in new information about your town.
Discover something entirely new for you.
Keep your mind active and involved when you’re on tours.
Ask others what they love about your town.
Be prepared to hear others’ stories.
Research ahead, so you know before you go.
Choose your priorities and get the most value from your time.
Mark seasonal events on your calendar.
Leave the house expecting something exciting to happen.
The hometown tourist challenges
Explore a new store
Photo scavenger hunt
Take a walk
Try a local restaurant
Visit a coffee shop
Take touristy photos
Stop by the visitors center
Visit a local museum
Participate in a local tradition
Take a walking tour
Go on a Volkswalk
Will you be a hometown tourist?
Every day we can choose to be numb to our surroundings or look around with interest and curiosity.
The cure for wanderlust isn’t limited to a few weeks a year.
Take the hometown tourist challenge and explore your backyard.
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is to be taken for granted.Bill Bryson
We would love to hear about your adventures. Leave a comment below or connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Use #JauntyEveryday so we can follow along on your adventures.